tanithryudo: (Default)
Last official tour day; tomorrow we head back to the US.

This morning we hit the Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia, both museums now within walking distance of our hotel (called Sura). The palace is a little bit reminiscent of the Forbidden Palace, if only in gaudiness, though of course not nearly as big as the chinese emperor's epeen.

Lunch was at a random restaurant and not much of note. Afterwards we visited the Basilica Cistern, which was pretty cool and Moria-esque. Unfortunately my camera couldn't see a thing down there and gave up the last of its battery trying. Oh well, just as well I didn't need it anymore.

The remaining afternoon was spent at the grand bazaar. I got my Istanbul T-shirt for the collection. My mom spent the rest of our Euros on some scarves and a lamb-skin jacket. Pft.

Dinner was at this seafood place. Their grilled bass (and other fish servings) were pretty good. Comparatively, though, I'd say I've preferred the Greek restaurants to the Turkish ones (cruise excepted). Better salads and more tender meats.
tanithryudo: (Default)
Aka day 2 Istanbul. Also, it appears Turkey is a kitty kingdom too. Cats cats everywhere.

Our hotel is very well located, so our morning walk passed by several items of interest, including the outside of the hippodrome, an Egyptian obelisk and the original of a spire we just saw days ago in Delphi.

First major tour spot was the Blue Mosque, and all the women had to put on head scarves to get in. Otherwise, thr inside aesthetics seemed pretty similar to medieval cathedrals to me. =P

Then the Chora, a church turned mosque turned museum, known for its frescoes and mosaics.

Then the...Sulaiman Mosque (?).

After that we had lunch near the Egyptian spice bazaar. Grilled fish sandwich sold off a boat. Kinda gimmicky, and taste was meh otherwise. Afterwards we had time to shop a bit, and ended up buying 2 boxes of Turkish Delights.

Afternoon was a 2 hour cruise on the Bosphorus Strait, which was pretty cool to have Europe on one side and Asia the other.

Finally, after a brief rest at the hotel, dinner was at a nightclub with a (traditional?) Turkish dance show. Yes, with bellydancers.
tanithryudo: (Default)
Our last destination in Greece this morning was the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. A very pretty place, but it was on the way there that I had my completely unrelated epiphany on just why the Hetalia character for Greece was a narcoleptic cat lover.

If I had to estimate the number of cats I've seen so far on this tour, it would be *at least* 5, per *day*. And I'm not talking half wild cats that are appropriately wary or humans. These are all domesticated felines just placidly waiting for tourist to coo over/pet/feed them.

Also, Greeks have a waaaay easy lifestyle. Most retail stores only open 3-4 days a week, and even places that do open daily for tourist have short hours by US or Chinese standards.

Also noticed that even the middle of Athens is closer to US suburbia in the amount of foot and car traffic you would typically see on the street. That is to say, very little of anything seems to be going on. The only places that are full of people are the tourist spots.

Comparatively, arriving at Istanbul this afternoon was rather reminiscent of arriving in China (or HK or Taiwan, etc.) in terms of all the masses of people, construction, and general activity.

(Current time is 9:15 pm)
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Left Paktos at a leisurely 830 am today. On the way out of town, we drove its venetian harbor and some old castle.

Then it was a long drive across the bridge to the Pelopponesian (sp?) peninsula and over to the Olympia archaeological site. More walking, ruins, and museum with statues of nekkid men (with the dangly bits on display). *eye waggle*

Then a lunch at a place near the museum, befor starting the long drive back, this time by way of the bridge over the Corinthian canal. It looked more narrow than I expected, but apparently all canals are like that and modern ships do make use of it.

The hotel tonight is the same one in Athens that we first used, Elektra Palace, though not the same rooms obviously. Ah the small niceties of a 5 star hotel...

(Currently 9:20pm)
tanithryudo: (Default)
Current time is 9:25 pm.

My last 3 or so days were spent on a cruise ship, where Wi-fi was hella expensive. So didn't get a chance to post interim updates. Figured I'd just do a data dump now.

Day 3

Took all morning to check onto the Celestyal Olympia. My first time on a cruise ship, so lessons learned: they take your passports for the duration of the trip, but on the bright side, we didn't need to present either passport or visa on our one stop in Turkey.

Jetlag mixed with a bit if sea sickness was the pits on this first day, but it cleared up mostly after a night's sleep on board.

In the afternoon, we stopped at the island of Mykonos, a cozy and windy seaside tourist trap. Has dinner there as well. Grilled fish, although fresh, was rather meh. The tiger shrimp were slightly better.

Day 4

Landed in Kusadasi, Turkey for the morning, and the cruise also provided a local guide. This guy was the best tour guide we had so far (up to day 6).

First tour destination was the House of Virgin Mary. I'm not Christian, so it was kinda meh to me.

Second destination was the ancient city of Ephesus. Now this was more like it. We walked for hours in the archaeological site of the Roman city, covering everything from the gymnasium, forum, temple, fountains, baths, bathrooms, library, to theater. All marble all the time. It was pretty awesome.

On our way back to the ship, we also stopped at Turkmen, apparently a government sponsored place to do/teach/sell handmade carpets. Unfortunately our tour group were all American-Chinese, so no one bought anything.

There was another tour announced in the afternoon for Patmos, another religious place, but I wasn't interested and didn't go.

Day 5

Morning was Crete. We saw thwe archaeological site of the Minoan palace of Knossos. Not was intact as Ephesus but it is a much older city. Then we did a brief tour of Heraklion, apparently the capital. But as it was Sunday, not much was open.

In the afternoon we arrived at Santorini to look at the sights. Unfortunately thick clouds rolled in about 10 mins to sunset, sono one got to see it that day. Not that we'd have been able to anyway, due to bus and ship schedules.

Had lobster on the ship for dinner. While the lobster was quite big and cheaper than in the US, the cooking was mediocre.

Day 6

Docked back at th Piraeus port in Athens. Apparently this major Grecian port is now 60-80% Chinese owned nowadays. Hah.

Then had a 2 hour drive up to the monastery of St. Lucas. Expacted sights of medieval religious building.

Had lunch at this random place, which was actually rather good.

Then drove over to Delphi and the archaeological site of the temple of Apollo. Not much remaining to see...

Finally, our hotel tonight is in a random small town on the way back to Athens, called Nafpaktos. Ok place, good view of the bay at least.
tanithryudo: (Default)
Current time 9:07 pm

Took an Athens city tour today. Started off with a quick driveby of the Temple of Zeus (or remnants thereof) and a bit of Hadrian's Wall. Then headed to the Athens city Acropolis which is the main attraction of the city. It involved a long climb up jagged and slippery marble paths through to the Parthenon. And from the higher vantage, we could see below the smaller temples and the Theater of Dionysus.

Afterwards, feet still sore from the long line getting out of the Parthenon, we went over to the new museum and walked through allof the major exhibitions. I have to mention here that for today's tour, we actually had a local guide doing much of the show and tell in English. Unfortunately, her accent was impenetrable and her English vocabulary was kinda...lacking too. Oh eell, I'm sure most of the historical into cam be found online anyway.

Afterwards, there were some more drive-by sightseeing. There was the Parliament building, the three neoclassical buildings built in the 19th (?) century: a library, a museum, and a...university? Etc. We did make a stop for the original olympic stadium though.

Finally,we paused for a very late lunch, for which I just got a sandwich to go and ate at the hotel. Then there was a brief pause at the hotel (for siesta or whatever they call it here?) And its straight to dinner at a local small restaurant. That wasn't too interesting. We did do some shopping along the small street shops after. Got a T-shirt to go with my Auusie/NZ one.
tanithryudo: (Default)
Currently 11:47 pm in Athens.

It was a 13 hour flight to Instanbul (over the US and Atlantic), and then a transfer backwards to Athens. Eh, something something prices I guess.

Turkish Airlines was kinda meh. No adjustable fans for cooling downn and food was blah. Watched 3 in flight movies and stuck to light stuff like Ice Age (Collision Course), Kungfu Panda 3, and Lego Batman. KP3 was a great laugh, but I thought the other two were trying too hard.

Also, while waiting at the airport, I browsed a bit on the details of the new Star Trek Discovery pilot. Not too impressed, honestly. Sounded to me like they tried to do Kelvinverse style squished into Prime universe, and I'm not just referring to the lens flares.

To wit: A tramatised faux-emo main character which is going to a actual main character (since when has any Prime Trek had a series MC?) and whose backstory reads like a bad fanfic Mary Sue. Seriously, haven't they learned from the last time they tried to give Spock a sibling?
tanithryudo: (GW2)
So I've completed the personal story and all 4 of the free mounts mastery tracks. Also did a bit of dabbling with weaver and did the starting personal story on 2 more characters to check out a few things. Also, staked reddit for news and stuff. So I'm ready to do my initial review.

I think in a lot of respects, PoF is the culmination of a lot of learning and feedback taken from the players in response to HoT. It attempts to capitalize on the things people liked, correct what they didn't like, and sometimes go overboard in the attempt.

Read more... )

There's probably more stuff that I can't remember right now. Ask me and I shall trying to give my thoughts on it.
tanithryudo: (IDIC)
AN: This is an omake fanfic of a Quest (fanfic) called To Boldly Go, based primarily on Star Trek.

This one's not tenipuri based. Both adult OC's are in-game characters. Here's hoping I did Vulcan romance domesticity justice.

omake )
tanithryudo: (IDIC)
AN: Again, this is an omake fanfic of a Quest (fanfic) called To Boldly Go, based primarily on Star Trek.

Takes place around... 2318.Q4-ish. Tezuka-expy shows up, and Atobe-expy gets a name drop.

omake )
tanithryudo: (IDIC)
AN: Again, this is an omake fanfic of a Quest (fanfic) called To Boldly Go, based primarily on Star Trek.

Both this and the previous segment takes place in early 2318.Q1. Betazoids and Caitians are both canon species.

omake )
tanithryudo: (Default)
Ok, first off I'm going to admit that I didn't really spend that much time playing the demo this weekend. In my defense, I was kidnapped by my long-departed mused and held hostage over at google docs. (I have a 2nd chapter of my TBG omake series written and parts 3 & 4 vaguely plotted.) So, since inspiration is harder to come by and I've already prepurchased the game, well, that sorta set my priorities.

Confession over. I sort of tried out three of the new elite specializations that I most cared about in the recent demo:

Read more... )

Anyway, I'll still probably get the HPs to fill out the new specializations even for the ones I don't plan to use. That's assuming the collections for getting a "free" ascended weapon is still going to be added, similar to HoT. That will be 2 daggers, 2 swords, 2 axes, torch, rifle, and shortbow. *licks*
tanithryudo: (IDIC)
AN: This is an omake fanfic of a Quest (fanfic) called To Boldly Go, based primarily on Star Trek. I've based my OC character on another fandom of course, as it will become more obvious.

Anyway, to understand the background...
- Here is a brief on the Apiata species. I'm using the female pronouns for queens, and neutral pronouns for drones (b/c all da zzzz's).
- Michel Thuir is an official NPC of TBG, first seen as a captain of uncommon good sense at the beginning of the quest, and has since moved up the ranks due to having the favor of the players.

The Academy by the Bay 1 )
tanithryudo: (Gods at Play)
The first demo weekend just finished. That demo covered just a preview of the PvE map content for PoF, mainly focused on showing off the new area and the mount system. None of the new class specializations were available; apparently, they're showcasing those separately in the next demo. Because of that, I didn't play all that exhaustively. But from what I did play, here's some thoughts...

the review )

Anyway, the upcoming weekend will have the specializations demo. Currently, it seems the demo characters will only have access to WvW and PvP for testing. Players are also arguing for aerodome (raid testing) access. Also not sure how it's going to work with existing WvW queues and maps... Best case is they'll make a new WvW instance for the demo to avoid conflicting with actual WvW games. Either that or just restricted to Edge of the Mists, I guess.
tanithryudo: (Gods at Play)
So, the big news is that the next expansion, Path of Fire, will be coming out in late September. It's going to take place in Crystal Desert/Elona, and the big bad looks to be Balthazar, though Palawa Joko and/or Kralkatorik may or may not (probably not) also bite the dust.

Before we get to the expansion though, there's a bunch of other updates that's coming out in preparation for it...

* Gliding is being added to WvW tomorrow. Since gliding only comes with HoT and PoF can be bought separately, I'm guessing it's just enticing new players to buy both.

* Consumables are getting revamped to use Concentration/Expertise instead of condi/boon duration % value. Results in a nerf on those stats, which is a hit to meta HoT-based builds. Doesn't really impact me, since even my vipers engi doesn't use condi duration food often.

* Human Elona-based faces and hairstyles are already available in character creator (and makeover kit).

* There will be an open demo starting this Friday, available to everyone. If it's anything like the HoT beta, it might be a good idea to move all legendary/ascended gear into the bank beforehand so the demo character can use them.

Actual Expansion stuff )


Jul. 7th, 2017 07:57 pm
tanithryudo: (Default)
Finally coming up for air...

Been reading THE Pokemon fanfic Ashes of the Past. A fic which probably contains most of the cliches in the fandom (aside from the harem ones), many from before they became cliches, and even several elements that later became canon. Also, a 1.3 mil ongoing fic that incidentally completed nanowrimo without intending to.

Quality wise, the first few chapters are a bit lacking (didn't feel like the author was taking the actual writing of it seriously enough), but the quality does improve, especially after the author dropped it for a few years to write a lot of other stuff and generally improved her writing skill before picking this story up again. I think everything from Orange Islands onward is much better quality. Updated in snippets almost daily on the SB forums, and completed chapters are posted semi-weekly to ffnet.

The same author also manages the MLP Loops round-robin-ish meta story. While there's a lot of fluff there, there's also some coherent story lines there that are pretty good too. And yeah, I also read through this 2 mil word monster once or twice too... >.>;

Next, To Boldly Go... is a very well written and well organized Star Trek quest that takes place post STVI (and Generations prologue) at the turn of the 24th century. While it's not entirely compliant to canon in the nitty gritty details, it certainly is spiritually compliant to Star Trek, IMO.

I've read a lot of Star Trek quests/OC fics and this is perhaps one of the only ones where I've really loved OC characters depicted and the general theme of things. My favorites so far are Nash (the Andorian captain who took over the Ent-B after Harriman who has shades of being the second coming of Kirk) and Straak (Vulcan combat-geologist captain that in-story earned the name of "The Rock Whisperer"), among others.

There's also call-outs to some canon characters (most of the guys from TOS are still alive, after all) but for the first 10 years of the timeline none of them were in the focus.

I'm also very happy that the playerbase has consistently avoided the pitfalls of going 'rawr-Starfleet-military-buildup-let's-shoot-everything'. Something must be right when your voters are actually wanting the Pacifist faction of the Federation Council to gain the majority...
tanithryudo: (Default)
Robots from the 120th century reinterpreting Shakespeare. XD

I've recently got rather sucked into the story for this game, even though I'm never actually going to play it. Most likely. Probably.

... >.>

EDIT: Also finally finished my new GW2 backpiece.
tanithryudo: (Default)
A dev made the challenge and the gamebase answered. They made it before the enrage timer too.

GW2 leaks

May. 2nd, 2017 12:22 pm
tanithryudo: (Default)
So according to the leaks for the upcoming expansion, we're getting the Crystal Desert and northern Elona, plus the following new specialization weps/lines

Thief - Rifle - probably a 1200 range single target weapon based on sniper
Guardian - Axe - seems to be more fire based stuffs
Warrior - Dagger - seems to be anticaster?
Engi - Sword - no idea what they're doing with engi... *ugh*
Mesmer - Axe - no idea
Ranger - Dagger mainhand (since we already have dagger offhand) - pet based
Necro - Torch - seems to be related to the Scourge X abilities of GW1?
Revenant - either longbow or shortbow
Ele - ?? not on list?
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